As a business owner, it’s important to be able to communicate your brand’s story in a way that’s compelling, clear, and concise. You know all the little details about your business, and you could probably talk about them for hours. However, when introducing your business, you usually need to capture your audience’s attention quickly and effectively, all while getting across the key messages you want to impart.
As the person who spends the most time working on the various aspects of your enterprise, it can be challenging to distill what you want to say into an effective introduction. By taking a bit of time to craft a powerful and unforgettable introduction now, you’ll be grateful the next time the opportunity to talk or write about your business comes up.
How do you introduce a small business?
The ideal way to introduce your small business will vary depending on the situation and the audience, but the tips we’ll discuss here can all be tailored to your unique situation.
In your “About” page
One of the most common places for business owners to introduce their business is in the “About Us” page of their website. This page can sometimes be created as an afterthought, but depending on what kind of business you’re in, it can be one of the first pages potential customers visit to find out if they want to buy your product or work with you.
You don’t want them to find a huge wall of text with a bunch of information they don’t care about. Instead, you want them to leave feeling like they can trust you, clearly know what you offer, and understand your brand personality.
In your introductory emails
What we used to refer to as cold calling now takes place mostly over email. No matter what your business is, it’s likely you’ll find yourself introducing your company to business prospects by emailing them directly. People are busy and receive lots of emails each day, so a snappy, compelling introduction is key to not having your emails ignored.
It’s much easier to delete an email without responding to it than it is to hang up on someone who calls you, so crafting an irresistible introduction that leaves your prospects certain they want to know more about your business is well worth the effort.
You can also weave elements of your brand story into the rest of your email marketing, reminding your audience what makes your company unique.
Whether you’re attending a formal networking event or you happen to be asked about your business at a dinner party, being able to deliver an effective elevator pitch introduction about what you do is a great skill. You never know where the next great opportunity may come from, and you don’t want to bore people with unnecessary details.
These aren’t the only situations in which you’ll have to introduce your business, but they are some of the most common ones. If you have a go-to introduction that you can use on your About page, in introductory emails, and when you’re in networking situations, you should feel confident presenting your business in just about any situation. Here are some examples of how to ace your next business introduction.
1. Tell your unique story
It’s much easier to remember a story than a basic description of your business activities. Stories have an emotional resonance that makes them very effective for helping people remember what’s special about your business over all the others that may offer similar products or services. This makes it more compelling for customers to buy from you.
If you get carried away crafting a brand or business story that seems over-the-top or too self serving, your audience will pick up on this. Aim to be authentic and truthful; your story doesn’t have to be full of far-fetched twists and turns to be compelling. It’s enough to be relatable and present the human side of your business.
For example, if you began your career in another line of work and unexpectedly ended up starting your current business, there could be an interesting and authentic story there about what motivated you to make the switch. If your business started in your parent’s basement and now you have a location of your own, share a detail or two about those days.
Your unique story shouldn’t be a novel. It should be easy to tell concisely, and be made up of key details that are relevant to the overall impression you want to project about your business. By keeping it relatively brief, you can also ensure consistency. If your story shifts depending on your audience, those who catch the inconsistencies may find your business untrustworthy or unreliable.
Involve your customers
If it makes sense to include your customers in your storytelling, sharing some of the ways your business has positively impacted them can be a powerful way to demonstrate the uniqueness of your business. Just make sure you get their permission before sharing anything that might be considered personal. When there is doubt, it’s always better to be safe than sorry and simply ask. Many happy customers will jump at the chance to help a company they love.
2. Be honest with your target audience
When introducing your small business, honesty is essential. If you over-inflate or misrepresent what you’re about, it will catch up with you eventually. It’s important to have respect for your customer and target audience and to make sure your introduction, while presenting your business in the best possible light, is truthful.
By establishing trust with your target audience through honest communication, you’re more likely to have satisfied customers whose experiences are aligned with the expectations they had based on your brand story or business introduction.
Know your value proposition
Having a clear value proposition is important not only in terms of guiding your business communications, but also in terms of helping you make decisions in your business. If you know what your value proposition is, you can regularly check in with yourself to ensure that your business activities support of your value proposition
When introducing your small business, sharing this value proposition is an effective way to let your audience know exactly what you’re about and what they can expect from you. Your value proposition can take the following form:
We help [target audience] with [target audience’s objective] through [add your unique selling proposition].
Focus on your audience
It’s only human to talk about ourselves, but if you want to effectively introduce your business, it’s best to focus on your audience rather than on yourself. Consider what information is valuable to them. They may not be particularly interested to know about all your achievements, awards, and business milestones. Instead, they want to know what you can do for them.
Your introduction should be written with your target audience or ideal buyer persona in mind. Put yourself in their position and consider what their problems are that your business can solve, then make sure your introduction communicates how you will help them.
3. Use humour (if possible)
Injecting some humour, if it’s appropriate, can be an effective strategy when introducing your business. Even if your business is in a profession that most people think of as stuffy and serious rather than lighthearted, a bit of humour can help to humanize your brand and make it seem more approachable.
For example, consider an accounting small business. Dealing with bookkeeping and tax season causes stress for many. Accounting and taxes are serious subjects, and people hiring accountants want to make sure those accountants are properly trained, competent, and fair. However, a little bit of humour could still be an effective component of an accounting business’ brand story.
By adding some humour to their website copy and About Page that references the stress that typically accompanies tax season, an accounting small business can show potential customers they really understand their pain points. At the same time, this humour humanizes the brand and puts their audience at ease.
Get creative when thinking about how you can use a bit of humour in your own brand story. You don’t have to go overboard with it, but injecting a lighthearted, human voice into your story can be an effective technique for making your business both memorable and approachable.
4. Use clear language and avoid business jargon
New buzzwords seem to emerge every year, and it can be tempting to use them when describing your own business in order to sound current. However, business jargon tends to lose its meaning very quickly. For example, “disruptive” may have once been a trendy term, but at this point, so many businesses claim to be disrupting their industries that it doesn’t really communicate anything meaningful.
When introducing your small business, aim to be clear and concise. Your goal is to help your target audience understand exactly what you’re about and how you can help solve their problems. Business jargon can come off as self-aggrandizing rather than approachable, which doesn’t best serve your target audience.
This doesn’t mean your language shouldn’t be polished and professional. You can maintain a professional voice while sticking to clear, easy-to-understand language. This is true even when you’re writing a business introduction for a professional audience, such as the executive summary portion of your business plan. Those reading your business plan are even more likely to be familiar with overused business jargon, and will appreciate a clear, well-crafted introduction that tells them exactly what they need to know about your business.
It’s normal for buzzwords to find their way into your writing, but make a point of looking for those words and replacing them with clearer alternatives when you proofread.
5. Make it loveable
You can probably think of a few brands that have adoring fans even if they offer a product or service plenty of other brands also offer. If you want to tap into the technique that makes those types of brands stand out, think about how you can tell your story in a way that makes it lovable and humanized.
Take a brand like Starbucks, for example. There’s no shortage of other places to pick up a morning coffee, but they have many customers who are extremely loyal to their brand. Their product and in-store atmosphere may be part of the reason why, but they also take every opportunity to introduce their business in a way that adds a human dimension to a huge, multinational corporation.
They achieve this by talking about aspects of their business like their commitment to fair trade practices and their roots in Seattle, a city known for its unique coffee culture. They also showcase the people behind their brand, adding a human face to their enterprise.
While they’re a huge company, you can apply the same techniques to make your brand more lovable. When introducing your small business, whether it’s on your website, in a writeup on a local blog, or in person at a networking event, consider ways of injecting some personality into your story and giving your audience a reason to care about your business.
The voice and tone you use when writing your business introductions, website copy, product descriptions, and any other communications representing your brand can also go a long way in making your business more lovable. When typing something on a screen, it can be easy to start sounding robotic. Read your copy out loud to yourself and make sure you’re writing in a natural, human voice.
Your business introduction is often your first chance to capture your audience’s attention and let them know exactly why you’re the right choice for them. It’s an opportunity to show them not only that you can solve their problem by providing the perfect product or most reliable service, but also that you’ll make their life easier and more enjoyable.
Your introduction should be a reflection of the rest of your brand, as well as true to your voice and mission. Having a go-to introduction that you can repurpose whenever you’re given the chance to talk about your business will help you make the most of every opportunity that comes your way.